BOWLING GREEN, KY - The West Michigan Whitecaps suffered their first doubleheader sweep of the season in losing a pair of games to the Bowling Green Hot Rods by scores of 4-1 and 3-2 on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The losses give West Michigan a six-game losing streak and a total of 43 losses to tie a franchise record for one-half of a season. The only other time the Whitecaps lost 43 times in a half occurred in 2010.
In the first game, a four-run sixth inning broke a scoreless tie as a sacrifice fly, wild pitch and passed ball helped the Hot Rods collect a victory in the opener. The only run the 'Caps generated in the first contest came on a two-out solo home run by Rey Rivera in the seventh.
In the nightcap, infielder Wander Franco put the Hot Rods on the board with a first-inning RBI-triple into the right-field corner and scored on a missed catch by third baseman Hector Martinez to give Bowling Green a 2-0 lead. A run-scoring single by Seaver Whalen extended the Hot Rods lead to 3-0 in the fourth, serving as an essential insurance run. In the sixth, the Whitecaps struck for their only offense when Wenceel Perez and Martinez blasted solo home runs - each the second they've hit this season - to narrow the deficit to one, but the 'Caps were retired in the seventh and final frame to fall to their sixth straight loss.
Whitecaps pitchers Gio Arriera (2-4) and Sandel De La Cruz (0-3) took losses on the mound, while Bowling Green pitchers Matt Liberatore (4-0) and Cristopher Sanchez (1-1) collected victories in the doubleheader. Nick Padilla worked a scoreless final frame for the Hot Rods in the second game to earn his first save. The loss drops the Whitecaps record to 20-43 while Bowling Green improves to 37-26. Rivera managed to hit for the cycle between both games of the doubleheader by tripling and homering in the first contest before collecting a single and double in the second game. Wenceel Perez recorded a three-hit performance in the nightcap - his second three-hit game of the season. The Whitecaps have hit five home runs in the first three games of this series.
This four-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods concludes on Monday at 1:05 pm. Pitcher Chance Kirby gets the start for West Michigan against Hot Rods righty Shane Baz. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 12:55 pm. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2019 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.